CORPORATIONS ACT 2001

CHAPTER 2M - FINANCIAL REPORTS AND AUDIT  

PART 2M.4 - APPOINTMENT AND REMOVAL OF AUDITORS  

Division 5 - Auditor rotation for listed companies  

SECTION 324DD   AUDIT COMPANY ' S ROTATION OBLIGATION  

324DD(1)   Contravention by audit company.  

An audit company contravenes this subsection if:


(a) the audit company consents to act as a listed company ' s or listed registered scheme ' s auditor for a financial year; and


(b) an individual acts, on behalf of the audit company, as a lead or review auditor in relation to the audit of the company ' s or scheme ' s financial report for that financial year; and


(c) the individual is not eligible to play a significant role in the audit of the company or scheme for that financial year; and


(d) a director of the audit company (other than the individual) is aware that the individual is not eligible to play that role; and


(e) the audit company fails to take the necessary steps, as soon as possible after the director becomes aware that the individual is not eligible to play that role, either:


(i) to resign as auditor of the company or scheme; or

(ii) to ensure that the individual ceases to act, on behalf of the audit company, as a lead or review auditor in relation to the audit of the company or scheme for that financial year.

324DD(2)   Contraventions by directors of audit company.  

A person (the defendant ) contravenes this subsection if:


(a) an audit company consents to act as a listed company ' s or listed registered scheme ' s auditor for a financial year; and


(b) an individual acts, on behalf of the audit company, as a lead or review auditor in relation to the audit of the company ' s or scheme ' s financial report for that financial year; and


(c) the individual is not eligible to play a significant role in the audit of the company or scheme for that financial year; and


(d) the defendant is a director of the audit company; and


(e) the defendant is not the individual and is or becomes aware that the individual is not eligible to play that role; and


(f) the defendant fails to take the necessary steps, as soon as possible after the defendant becomes aware that the individual is not eligible to play that role, either:


(i) to ensure that the audit company resigns as auditor of the company or scheme; or

(ii) to ensure that the individual ceases to act, on behalf of the audit company, as a lead or review auditor in relation to the audit of the company or scheme for that financial year.

324DD(3)  
A person (the defendant ) contravenes this subsection if:


(a) an audit company consents to act as a listed company ' s or listed registered scheme ' s auditor for a financial year; and


(b) an individual acts, on behalf of the audit company, as a lead or review auditor in relation to the audit of the company ' s or scheme ' s financial report for that financial year; and


(c) the individual is not eligible to play a significant role in the audit of the company or scheme for that financial year:


(i) because of section 324DAD ; or

(ii) for any other reason; and


(d) the defendant is a director of the audit company.

324DD(4)  


For the purposes of an offence based on subsection (3), strict liability applies to the physical elements of the offence specified in paragraphs (3)(a) and (b) and subparagraph (3)(c)(ii).

Note 1: For strict liability , see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code .

Note 2: Subsection (5) provides a defence.

324DD(5)  
A person does not commit an offence because of a contravention of subsection (3) in relation to an individual acting as lead or review auditor on behalf of an audit company at a particular time if the person has reasonable grounds to believe that the audit company had in place at that time a quality control system that provided reasonable assurance (taking into account the size and nature of the audit practice of the audit company) that the audit company and its employees complied with the requirements of this Division.

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this subsection, see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code .


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